Skip to main content

Full text of "The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini"

See other formats



Selected Fatawah 
And Sayings of The 

Ayatollah Mosavi Khomeini 

— translated into English by Harold Salemson — 
with a special introduction by Clive Irving 

Bantam Books, 1985 / ISBN: 0553140329 

PDF Edition by 


Table of Contents 

Introduction iii 

I. 1 Islam as a Revolutionary Religion 1 

I. 2 Islam and Colonialism 3 

I. 3 The Islamic Republic 7 

I. 4 The Rule of the Clergy 11 

I. 5 The Imam 13 

1 . 6 Islamic J ustice 15 

I. 7 Youth 18 

I. 8 Media and Propaganda 20 

II . 9 On Urinating and Defecating 2 1 
II. 10 On Eating and Drinking 24 
II. 11 On Pure and Impure Things 27 
II. 12 Purification 31 
II . 13 On the Nature of Water 37 
II. 14 On Ablution 39 
II . 15 On the Five Namaz 43 
II. 16 On Prayers in Case of Natural Phenomenon 46 
II. 17 On Fasting 47 
II. 18 On Woman and Her Periods 50 
II. 19 On Marriage, Adultery, and Conjugal Relations 53 
II. 20 On Divorce 62 
II . 2 1 On the Mortuary Ritual 64 
II. 22 On Finance and Taxes 66 
II. 23 Addendum 69 



The Little Green Book is a collection of fatawah handed down by the 
most prominent and arguably one of the most influential Muslim 
clerics in modern history; the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah 
Mosavi Khomeini, commonly known as the Ayatollah Khomeini. 
Fatawah (the plural of fatwah) are Islamic religious decrees sent 
down by Muslim religious leaders. Since Islam demands that 
Muslims abide by Sharia - Islamic law as individuals and as a 
society, these fatawah are not simply religious insights or advice. 
They are legal pronouncements, and define the law of the land in an 
Islamic country. In his unrivaled role as Iran's Supreme Leader and 
the highest- ranking cleric for Shi'a Muslims, the Ayatollah 
Khomeini's fatawah guided the lives of more Shi'a Muslims than did 
any other Islamic leader throughout history. 

It would have been damning to Islam if these inane, absurd, and 
depraved rantings had come from any Muslim, since they would 
serve as an example of how Islam corrupts a person's mind. Beyond 
that however, anyone who takes the time to analyze Islam's 
scriptures and what is recorded in Islam about Muhammad, the man 
whose life sets the standard to which Muslims are to strive, will see 
that the Ayatollah Khomeini was not off- base in his Islamic 

This version of The Little Green Book, is a translation done by 
Harold Salemson, whose source was a French translation of the 
Ayatollah's fatawah compiled by a Persian named Jean- Marie 
Xaviere. The book is broken up into two volumes. The first volume 
deals with governing issues, and is so chock full of amazing quotes, 
we had to give up on trying to highlight the best ones. The second 
volume focuses on lifestyle guidelines, and tends to be a bit 
mundane. However, some of the more astoundingly reprehensible 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

whoppers are in this section. Additionally, the emphasis placed on 
defining even the most miniscule details for a Muslim to follow serve 
as a tremendous example of how Islam thrives on replacing every 
last iota of independent thought with mindless servitude. Of course, 
this should not come as a surprise to anyone, since the religion's 
name literally means "Submission" (Islam), and its followers refer to 
themselves as "those who submit" (Muslims). 

The Little Green Book is a quick read. In fact, it's probably shorter 
than some of Craig Winn's email responses. Additionally, much of it 
is so absurd, it's quite entertaining. That is, until you realize that this 
isn't a joke and you remember that billions of people are affected by 
these fatawah and thousands more like them from multitudes of 
other Islamic leaders. 

Clive Irving 



Islam as a 
revolutionary rpliqon 

Islam is a religion of those who struggle for truth and justice, of 
those who clamor for liberty and independence. It is the school of 
those who fight against colonialism. 

Our one and only remedy is to bring down these corrupt and 
corrupting systems of government, and to overthrow the traitorous, 
repressive, and despotic gangs in charge. This is the duty of Muslims 
in all Islamic countries; this is the way to victory for all Islamic 

Muslims have no alternative, if they wish to correct the political 
balance of society, and force those in power to conform to the laws 
and principles of Islam, to an armed Jihad against profane 

Though you may not have the means to prevent heresy or fight 
corruption, nevertheless, you must not remain silent. If they hit you 
in the head, protest! Resigning yourself to oppression is more 
immoral than oppression itself. Argue, denounce, oppose, shout. 
Spread the truth - that Islamic justice is not what they say it is. 

Jihad means the conquest of all non- Muslim territories. Such a war 
may well be declared after the formation of an Islamic government 
worthy of that name, at the direction of the Imam or under his 
orders. It will then be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to 
volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put 
Qur'anic law in power from one end of the earth to the other. But the 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

whole world should understand that the universal supremacy of 
Islam is considerably different from the hegemony of other 
conquerors. It is therefore necessary for the Islamic government first 
to be created under the authority of the Imam in order that he may 
undertake this conquest, which will be distinguishable from all other 
wars of conquest, which are unjust and tyrannical and disregard the 
moral and civilizing principles of Islam. 

Who liberated our country and our people from the shame of 
Zoroastrianism, if not the victorious army of Islam? 

There are some of us who aren't concerned with developing an 
Islamic movement, but, instead, of making the pilgrimage to Mecca 
with the Muslim brothers, in peace and understanding. It certainly 
wasn't that way in the time of the Prophet. The Friday prayers were 
the means of mobilizing the people, of inspiring them to battle. The 
man who goes to war straight from the mosque is afraid of only one 
thing - Allah. Dying, poverty, and homelessness mean nothing to 
him; an army of men like that is a victorious army. 

Islamic faith and justice demand that within the Muslim world, anti- 
Islamic governments not be allowed to survive. The installation of a 
lay public power is equivalent to actively opposing the progress of 
Islamic order. Any nonreligious power, whatever form or shape it 
may take, is necessarily an atheistic power, the tool of Satan; it is 
part of our duty to stand in its path and to struggle against its effects. 
Such Satanic power can engender nothing but corruption on earth, 
the supreme evil which must be pitilessly fought and rooted out. To 
achieve that end, we have no recourse other than to overthrow all 
governments that do not rest on pure Islamic principles, and are 
thus traitorous, rotten, unjust, and tyrannical administrative 
systems that server them. That is not only our duty in Iran, but it is 
also the duty of all Muslims in the world, in all Muslim countries, to 
carry the Islamic political revolution to its final victory. 



Islam and Colonialism 

Europe [the West] is nothing but a collection of unjust dictatorships; 
all of humanity must strike these troublemakers with an iron hand if 
it wishes to regain its tranquility. If Islamic civilization had governed 
the West, we would no longer have to put up with these barbaric 
goings-on unworthy even of wild animals. 

At a time in the West so primitive that there is no recorded history of 
it, when its inhabitants were still wild, and when America was still a 
land of half- wild redskins, the peoples of the Persian and Roman 
empires were forced to live under despotism, oligarchy, favoritism, 
and absolute rule, without the slightest participation or right to 
participate in their own government. It was then that Allah, through 
his prophet, sent us the laws whose scope has amazed mankind. 

The homeland of Islam, one and indivisible, was broken up by the 
doings of the Imperialists and despotic and ambitious leaders. The 
Muslim people, one and indivisible, was broken up into several 
peoples. And when the Ottoman Empire struggled to achieve Islamic 
unity, it as opposed by a united front of Russian, English, Austrian, 
and other imperialist powers, which split it up among themselves. 

Western missionaries, carrying out secret plans drawn up centuries 
ago, have created religious schools of their own within Muslim 
countries. We did not react against that, and this is what it led to: 
These missionaries infiltrated our villages and our countrysides, to 
turn our children into Christians or atheists! 

The Islamic movement met its first saboteur in the Jewish people, 
who are at the source of all the anti-Islamic libels and intrigues 
current today. Then came the turn of those even more damnable 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

representatives of Satan, the imperialists. Within the last three 
centuries or more, they have invaded every Muslim country, with the 
intention of destroying Islam. They have been aware ever since the 
Crusades that only Islam, with its laws and its faith, can bar the way 
to their material interests and political power. They sent 
missionaries into Muslim cities, and there found accomplices within 
the universities and various information or publication centers, 
mobilized their Orientalist scholars in the service of imperialism - 
all of that only so as to distort Islamic truths. 

Their plan is to keep us in our backward state, to preserve our 
backward state, to preserve our pathetic way of life, so they can 
exploit the tremendous wealth of our underground resources, of our 
land, and our manpower. They want us to stay destitute, distracted 
by niggling day-to-day problems of survival, our poor living in 
misery, so that we will never become aware of the laws of Islam - 
which contain the solution to misery and poverty! All of this they 
have done so they can sit in their big palaces, living their stupid 
shallow lives! 

Many of these corruptions have their origin in the gang that is in 
power, and in the family of a despotic and capricious ruler. These are 
the rulers who create hotbeds of lust, prostitution, and drugs, who 
devote the revenues of the mosque to building cinemas! 

Islam does not have kings or crown princes. If that's a fault, well 
then, Islam is a faulty religion! 

What do you understand of the harmony between social life and 
religious principles? And more important, just what is the social life 
we are talking about? Is it those hotbeds of immorality called 
theaters, cinemas, dancing, and music? Is it the promiscuous 
presence in the streets of lusting young men and women with arms, 
chests, and thighs bared? Is it the ludicrous wearing of a hat like the 
Europeans or the imitation of their habit of wine drinking? We are 
convinced that you have been made to lose your ability to distinguish 
between good and evil, in exchange for a few radio sets and ludicrous 
Western hats. Your attention has been attracted to the disrobed 
women to be seen on thoroughfares ad in swimming pools. Let these 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

shameful practices come to an end, so that the dawn of a new life 
may break! 

All governments of the world rely upon the power of their bayonets. 
We know of no monarchy or republic in the world today which is 
based upon equity and reason; and all maintain themselves in power 
only through oppression. 

The leaders of our country have been so deeply influenced by the 
West that they have regulated the standard time of their country 
upon that of Europe (Greenwich Mean Time) . What a nightmare! 

In the past century, during which European medicine and surgery 
have been introduced into Iran, our leaders have forgotten our 
traditional medicine and encouraged a handful of inexperienced 
young men to study this cursed European medicine. Today we 
realize that illnesses such as typhus, typhoid fever, and the like are 
curable only by traditional remedies. 

The clergy must undertake no functions other than religious ones 
which serve monotheism, virtue, the teaching of divine laws, and the 
uplifting of public morals. The army must also be under the control 
of the clergy in order to be efficacious and useful. 

We [clergy] forcefully affirm that refusal to wear the veil is against 
the law of Allah and the Prophet, and a material and moral affront to 
the entire country. We affirm that the ludicrous use of the Western 
hat stands in the way of our independence and is contrary to the will 
of Allah. We affirm that coeducational schools are an obstacle to a 
wholesome life; they are a material and moral affront to the country 
and contrary to the divine will. We affirm that music engenders 
immorality, lust, and licentiousness, and stifles courage, valor, and 
the chivalrous spirit; it is forbidden by Qur'anic law and must not be 
taught in the schools. Radio Tehran, by broadcasting Western, 
Oriental, and Iranian music, plays a nefarious role by introducing 
immorality and licentiousness into respectable families. 

Ulamas [scholars] and other ecclesiastics are not permitted to run 
the theology schools set up by the state. State intervention in this 
domain is always a pretext for the destruction of the foundations of 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

Islam on orders of the imperialists. This happens in all Muslim 
countries without exception. 

Members of the clergy who, wearing clerical garb, cooperate in one 
way or another with such schools of theology must be shinned by all 
true Muslims. It is forbidden to associate with them, to indulge in 
collective prayer in their presence, to make use of their services for 
the repudiation of one's wife, to pay legal alms to them, to invite 
them to officiate at funeral ceremonies, or to listen to their sermons 
at meetings organized by the state with the sole intent of having 
them preach lies and diabolical anti- Islamic thoughts. 

We see today that Jews - may Allah bring them down! - have 
manipulated the editions of the Qur'an published in their occupied 
zones. We have to protest, to make everyone understand that these 
Jews are bent upon the destruction of Islam and the establishment 
of a universal J ewish government. And since they are a cunning and 
active people, I fear - may Allah protect us from it! - that sooner or 
later they may succeed in attaining this goal, that through the 
weakness of some among us we may one day find ourselves under 
J ewish rule - Allah preserve us from it! 

Some scholarly Orientalists, agents in the pay of the imperialists, are 
working to transform the Islamic truths. The missionaries, those 
other agents of imperialism, are also busy throughout the Muslim 
world in perverting our youth, not by converting them to their own 
religion, but by corrupting them. And that is the very thing 
imperialists are after. In Teheran itself, propaganda centers for 
Christianity, Zionism, and Bahaism, have been set up for the sole 
purpose of luring the faithful away from the commandments of 
Islam. Is it not our duty to destroy all these hotbeds of danger to 



The Islamic republic 

An Islamic government cannot be totalitarian or despotic, but is 
constitutional and democratic. In this democracy, however, the laws 
are not made by the will of the people, but only by the Qur'an and 
the Sunnah [Traditions] of the Prophet. The constitution, the civil 
code, and the criminal code should be inspired only by Islamic laws 
contained in the Qur'an and transcribed by the Prophet. Islamic 
government is the government of divine right, and its laws cannot be 
changed, modified, or contested. 

In any self-respecting Islamic government, the legislative, executive, 
and judicial branches are replaced by a Religious Planning Council. 
The council keeps each cabinet department informed of the Islamic 
laws affecting it, indicates what its program must be in conformity 
with religious law, and on the basis of the totality of these programs 
establishes general policy for the whole country. 

The Islamic government is subject to the law of Islam, which comes 
neither from the people nor from its representatives, but directly 
from Allah and His divine will. Qur'anic law, which is nothing other 
than divine law, constitutes the essence of any Islamic government 
and unfailingly governs all individuals who are a part of it. The 
Prophet, the Caliphs [spiritual heads of Islam], and the people all 
owe absolute obedience to these eternal laws of the Almighty, 
transmitted to mortals through the Qur'an and the Prophet, which 
remain immutable until the end of time. 

It is often proclaimed that religion must be separated from politics, 
and that the ecclesiastical world should keep out of affairs of state. It 
is proclaimed that high Muslim clerical authorities have no business 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

mixing into the social and political decisions of the government. 
Such proclamations can come only from atheists; they are dictated 
and spread by imperialists. Was politics separate from religion in the 
time of the Prophet (God salute him, him and his faithful)? Was 
there a distinction at that time between the religious and the high 
functionaries of the state? Were religious and temporal powers 
separate in the times of the Caliphs? Those are aberrations invented 
by the imperialists with a view to turning the clergy away from the 
material and social life of Muslim peoples, and thus to getting a free 
hand to pillage their wealth. 

Think of it - a political clergy! Well, why not? The Prophet was a 

He (The Prophet) appointed governors to provinces, formed 
tribunals and named judges, set up embassies in other countries, 
and sent ambassadors to other tribes and kings. . . In short, all the 
normal functions of government. 

In order to ensure the unity of the Muslim people, to liberate the 
Islamic homeland from the domination of the influence of 
imperialists, we have no other way out than to form a true Islamic 
government, do whatever is necessary to overthrow the other 
tyrannical pseudo- Muslim governments put in place by foreigners, 
and once this goal is attained to install the universal Islamic 

We have nothing against going to the moon, or setting up atomic 
installations. But we too have a mission to accomplish: the mission 
of serving Islam and making its sacred principles known to the 
entire world, in the hope that all the monarchs and presidents of 
republics throughout the Muslim world will finally recognize that 
our cause is just, and by that very fact become submissive to us. 
Naturally, we have no desire to strip them of their functions; we will 
allow them to retain power, provided they show themselves to be 
obedient and worthy of our confidence. 

It the enemy attacks the borders of an Islamic country, it is the 
sacred duty of all Muslims in the world to defend it by every means 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

in their power, by giving of their wealth or of their persons. They 
need await no permission to fulfill this duty. 

If within a Muslim country, diabolical foreign plans are fomented, 
and if there is any fear that these may lead to foreign domination, it 
is the duty of every Muslim to work against such plans. 

If as a result of the political, economic, or commercial influence of 
foreigners, there is the risk of seeing the latter gain control over the 
destinies of Islamic countries, it is the duty of every Muslim to 
defend the interests at stake and bar the path to any foreign 

If there is a justified fear that the diplomatic relations of Muslim 
states with foreign states might lead to the predominance of the 
latter within Muslim countries, even if such predominance be only 
political or economic, all Muslims must oppose such a situation with 
force, and compel the Islamic governments to sever such diplomatic 

If there comes to be a justified concern that commercial relations 
with foreigners might be harmful to Islamic markets and lead to 
commercial or economic dependence, such relations must be broken 
off and such commerce proclaimed to be religiously illicit. 

If establishing political or commercial relations between a Muslim 
and a non- Muslim country is not in the interests of Islam and 
Muslims, such relations are forbidden; if a country allows them, it is 
the duty of all other Muslim countries to force it by ever means 
within their power to sever such relations. 

If certain chiefs of state of Muslim countries or certain members of 
parliament favor a foreign political, economic, or military influence, 
which is inevitably against the interests of Islam and of all Muslims, 
they must for such treason be removed from their functions, 
whatever these may be, even though they may have acceded to them 
through entirely legal means. It is the duty of all Muslims to punish 
such individuals by ever possible means. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

It is forbidden for any Muslim state to have commercial and 
diplomatic relations with countries which play the role of puppets 
for the great powers - as is the case with Israel - and it is the duty of 
all Muslims to oppose such relations by every means available; any 
businessman having commercial dealing with Israel, its 
representatives, or its agents is a traitor to Islam and to all other 
Muslims, because he is contributing to the destruction of Islam. It is 
the duty of all Muslims to sever their relations with such traitors, 
whether they be states or businessmen, with a view to forcing them 
to repent. 

All the laws approved and passed until now by the two chambers of 
the Iranian Parliament, on the orders of foreign agents - Allah 
punish them! - contrary to the texts of the Qur'an and the law of the 
Holy Prophet of Islam are hereby proclaimed null and void from the 
Islamic viewpoint. It is the duty of all the faithful to turn against all 
those who supported them, to isolate such people, not to rub elbows 
with them or have any business dealings with them, and to consider 
them as malefactors. Even going near them is in itself a cardinal sin. 



The Rjjle of the Clergy 

If religious experts of wisdom and justice devoted themselves to the 
Islamic law and to setting up an Islamic law and to setting up an 
Islamic state, never again would the people go hungry. 

It is written that "the clergy rule the sultans." If the sultans are 
obedient to Islam, then they should also be obedient to the clergy; 
they should ask the clergy for laws and regulations and advice on 
how to apply them. In this way he clergy are the real leaders and 
power belong to them, officially. 

You (the clergy) have the duty to establish an Islamic state. Have 
confidence in yourselves: you are perfectly capable of assuming that 
burden. We will do as the colonialists did three or four hundred 
years ago - they started from nothing and got to this point. We too 
will start from nothing. Don't let yourselves be intimidated by a 
handful of your fellow countrymen who have sold out to the West, 
who are the valets of imperialism. Explain to the people that the 
clergy are not going to sit in a corner at Qom or An Najaf studying 
unimportant matters like the rules governing the menstruation of 
omen, and cutting themselves off from politics because "religion and 
politics should be separate." 

Are those who govern in Muslim countries these days any more 
capable than we are? Who among them has more aptitude than the 
average man? Many of them never even went to school... Mr. Reza 
[Rezah Shah - the Shah's father] was nothing but an uneducated 
buck private. Historically this has often been the case. Many despots 
and absolute rulers had neither the aptitude to run a country, nor 
common sense, nor knowledge nor wisdom. Harun al-Rashid [A 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

renowned 19th century Caliph in Baghdad] or others like him, what 
did they go through in the way of an education? TO administer laws 
and govern a country, you need a solid educational grounding. 

In certain cases deception is necessary for the maintenance of Islam 
and of religion in general; without it faith could not survive. 

If anyone, in the guise of pursuing Islamic justice, interprets the Law 
in a manner contrary to the divine will, he has committed the sin of 
innovation. Learned men are bound to condemn him or they will 
themselves be condemned. 

Given that the clergy occupy a lower position (than the Prophet of 
the Imam), should they therefore punish an offense less severely? 
Can we say that the Prophet ought to order a hundred and fifty 
lashes, Ali a hundred lashes, and the clergy only fifty, in a case when 
the penalty should be one hundred lashes? No. The chief magistrate 
possesses executive power that is always in accordance with divine 
standards, whether he be the Prophet, Ali, or the duly constituted 




We need a head of government who is not at the mercy of his lust 
and other temptations. We need someone to govern us for whom all 
are equal, for whom all enjoy the same rights and obligations; 
someone who doesn't indulge in favoritism, who regards his family 
in the same light as others, who will cut off his son's hands if he 
steals, and execute his brothers and sisters if they sell heroin. 

As far as function and rank are concerned, there is no difference 
between the guardian of a minor and the guardian of an entire 
people. Leading the government or indeed occupying any official 
position is like the Imam and his appointees taking care of children. 

The great scholars, those "fortresses of Islam," are the embodiment 
of Islamic faith as well as its guardians They affirm Islamic 
principles in their emotional and moving sermons and through the 
special nature of their leadership. That's why, when after a long life, 
perhaps even more than a hundred years, they die, that death is a 
great blow to Islam, and why the faithful experience an immense 
lack in their absence. But if it's a question of my death, I who do 
nothing but sit in a corner of my house studying; what lack will the 
faithful fell in my absence? 

The Imams were shining lights in the darkness of the heavens, 
infinitely gifted and by birth and nature superior to other men - 
much so that even the angel Gabriel declared "If I came too close to 
them, I would be burned. " 

The leaders of the USSR and of England and the president of the 
United States are invested with power (like the Imam), but they are 
infidels. They wield their political power and influence in order to 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

fulfill sordid personal ambitions, which they accomplish by 
administering inhuman laws and using inhuman political methods. 
But the Imam and the clergy have the duty to use the political 
apparatus to apply the laws of Allah and to bring about a system of 
equality for the benefit of the people. Governing means nothing for 
them except pain and difficulty, but what can they do? The rule of 
the clergy is an obligation they must fulfill. 

Since the Almighty did not designate anyone by name to form the 
Islamic government in the absence of the hidden Imam [the Twelfth 
Imam], what are we to do? But while Allah did not name anyone, He 
intended that the virtues characteristic of Islamic governments from 
the dawn of Islam to the reign of the Twelfth Imam be perpetrated. 
These virutes, these qualities, represented by perfect knowledge of 
law and justice, are to be found in many of the religious learned of 
our time. If those learned come together, they will be able to 
establish the authority that will bring about universal justice. If a 
competent man, combining in himself these supreme virtues, 
appears and founds a true Islamic government, it means that he has 
been invested as the Holy Prophet to lead the people; therefore, it is 
the people's absolute duty to follow him. 



Islamic Justice 

In an Islamic government, all people are under the protection of the 
law. No one may endanger their safety, break into their houses, 
arrest them, imprison or exile them, or summarily execute them on 
the basis of a simple accusation or suspicion. Under such a 
government, everyone can have full confidence in the law of the 
Prophet, and no judge or dignitary dare act contrary to it. 

The person who governs the Muslim community must always have 
its interests at heart and not his own. This is why Islam has put so 
many people to death: to safeguard the interests of the Muslim 
community. Islam has obliterated many tribes because they were 
sources of corruption and harmful to the welfare of Muslims. 

Muslims are forbidden to seek redress of their grievances from the 
executive or judiciary of improperly constituted governments. They 
are forbidden to have legal recourse to kings or other despotic 
administrations, or to the judges that are appointed by them, even if 
they have legal rights to defend. A person whose son has been killed 
or whose house has been burgled may not seek justice from such 
courts, even if he is in the right and has conclusive evidence. 

Islam has precepts for everything that concerns man and society. 
These come from the Almighty and are transmitted to men by His 
Prophet and Messenger. One may well be surprised by the majesty of 
these commandments, which cover every aspect of life, from 
conception to internment! There is no subject upon which Islam has 
not expressed judgment. 

The Islamic republic is a government according to the Law and the 
wise men and theological experts of the clergy are therefore 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

responsible for it. It is they who must watch over all aspects of 
administration and planning. In administering the laws of God in 
such matters as taxes and property for example, they must be 
trusted. Accordingly they must not allow delay in the execution of 
the Islamic laws, nor must thy be over lenient or over severe. If a 
member of the clergy wishes to inflict a penalty on someone, he must 
do so publicly, according to established practice, and lash him the 
specific number of times, without insulting him or slapping him or 
imprisoning him even for a single day. 

Islamic justice is based on simplicity and ease. It settles all criminal 
or civil complaints in the most convenient, elementary, and 
expeditious way possible. All that is required is for an Islamic judge, 
with a pen and inkwell and two or three enforcers, to go into a town, 
come to his verdict on any kind of case, and have it immediately 
carried out. Look at the present cost in time and money in Western 
society with all its judicial procedures surrounding any judgment, in 
the name of principles alien to Islam! 

If the punitive laws of Islam were applied for only one year, all the 
devastating injustices and immoralities would be uprooted. 
Misdeeds must be punished by the law of retaliation: cut off the 
hands of the thief; kill the murderer instead of putting him in prison- 
flog the adulterous woman or man. Your concerns, your 
"humanitarian" scruples are more childish than reasonable. Under 
the terms of Qur'anic law, any judge fulfilling the seven 
requirements (that he have reached puberty, be a believer, know the 
Qur'anic laws perfectly, be just, and not be affected by amnesia, or be 
a bastard, or be of the female sex) is qualified to dispense justice in 
any type of case. He can thus judge and dispose of twenty trials in a 
single day, whereas Occidental justice might take years to argue 
them out. 

Ali [son-in-law of Muhammad], having cut off the hands of two 
thieves, treated their wounds and offered them his hospitality, and 
this affected them so much that they became utterly devoted to him; 
or again when he heard the marauding army of Muawiyah had 
abused a woman of one of the tribes, he was so upset and moved to 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

pity that he declared: "If a man died after such an occurrence, no one 
cold blame him." And yet, despite a nature as sensitive as that, Ali 
bared his sword and hacked the perpetrators to pieces. This is the 
meaning of justice. 




Students have got their eyes open. If you present them with [the case 
for an Islamic republic], they will embrace it eagerly. Our students 
are against despotism, against repressive and colonialist authorities, 
against the ruffians who pillage the property of the people, against 
the Hars who consume impurities. There is no student or university 
that opposes an Islam founded on teachings such as ours and run 
according to social principles such as ours. 

Our young people have the duty to rip the turban from the heads of 
those who, by pretending to be holy men and religious experts of 
Islam, are causing so much corruption among Muslims. I don't know 
if our youth is still alive! In my day it was never thus. Why don't they 
rip off those turbans? I don't say we should kill them, they are not 
worth killing. But our brave youth must see to it that such mullahs 
do not appear in public wearing the turban. It's not necessary to hit 
them too much, but those turbans must come off! 

Put aside your sadness and resignation! Improve your programs and 
methods of spreading Islam! Make greater efforts to give it a fair 
presentation! Do your part: be the front-runners in setting up an 
Islamic republic. Put your hands in the hands of fighting and 
independent peoples! 

Young boys or girls in full sexual effervescence are kept from getting 
married before they reach legal age of majority. This is against the 
intention of divine laws. Why should the marriage of pubescent girls 
and boys forbidden because they are still minors, when they are 
allowed to listen to the radio and to sexually arousing music? 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

You, young people of the new generation, try to think more clearly. 
Stop turning toward science and its laws which have led so many 
among you to neglect your major responsibilities! Come to the help 
of Islam! Save the Muslims! The missionaries of different 
denominations, who are in service of the imperialists just as their 
local agents are, have spread to the four corners of the 
turn our youth away from the path of righteousness and keep them 
from the service of Islam. Save that youth! 



Media and Propaganda 

We have a duty to create an Islamic republic and to that end our first 
obligation is the creation of a system of propaganda. This has always 
been the way things work. Once a few people sit down together, 
think matters out together, make decisions, it follows that 
propaganda will emerge. Then little by little others who think the 
same way are attracted to the group and it increases in size. 
Ultimately the group and its propaganda becomes a force that can 
infiltrate a huge system of government or even bring about its 

Radio and television are allowed if they are used for the broadcasting 
of news or sermons, for the spreading of good educational material 
for publicizing the products and curiosities of the planet; but they 
must prohibit singing, music, anti- Islamic laws, the lauding of 
tyrants, mendacious words, and broadcasts which spread doubt and 
undermine virtue. 

Since the use of radio and television sets is not carried out in 
conformity with the above-mentioned principles, the trade in them 
is limited to those who will put them to good use and who will see to 
it that others follow in the same path. 



On Urinating and Defecating 

It is required that everyone, when urinating or defecating, hide his 
sexual parts from all pubescent persons, even his sister or his 
mother, as well as from any feebleminded person or children too 
young to understand. But husband and wife are not required to hide 
from each other. 

It is not indispensable to hide one's genitals with anything in 
particular; one's hand is enough. 

When defecating or urinating, one must squat in such a way as 
neither to face Mecca nor turn one's back upon it. 

It is not sufficient to turn one's sex organ away, while oneself facing 
or turning one's back on Mecca; and one's privates must never be 
exposed either facing Mecca or facing directly away from Mecca. 

Urinating and defecating are forbidden in four places: blind alleys, 
except with the permission of those living along them; the property 
of a person who has not given permission to do so; places of worship, 
such as a certain medersas [Arabic schools]; graves of believers, 
unless one does so as an insult to them. 

In three cases, it is absolutely necessary to purify one's anus with 
water: when the excrement has been expelled with other impurities, 
such as blood, for example; when some impure thing has grazed the 
anus; when the anal opening has been soiled more than usual. 

Apart from these three cases, one may either was one's anus with 
water or wipe it with some fabric or a stone. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

The urinary orifice can be cleaned off only with water, and it is 
enough to wash it just one time after urinating. But those in whom 
the urine comes out through some other orifice would do better to 
wash that orifice at least twice. This must be observed by women as 

It is not necessary to wipe one's anus with three stones or with three 
pieces of fabric: a single stone or single piece of fabric is enough. But 
if one wipes with a bone, or any sacred object, such as, for example, a 
paper having the name of Allah on it, one may not say his prayers 
while in this state. 

It is preferable, for urinating or defecating, to squat down in an 
isolated place; it is also preferable to go into this place with the left 
foot first, and come out of it with the right foot first; it is 
recommended that one keep his head covered while evacuating, and 
have the weight of his body carried by the left foot. 

During evacuation, one must not squat facing the sun or the moon, 
unless one's genitals are covered. While defecating, one must also 
avoid squatting exposed to the wind, or in public places, or at the 
door one's house, or under a fruit tree. At the time of the evacuation, 
one must also avoid eating, dallying, or washing one's anus with the 
right hand. Finally, one must avoid talking, unless one is absolutely 
forced to or is addressing a prayer to Allah. 

It is better to avoid urinating standing up or urinating into hard 
ground, or into an animal hole, or into ware, especially stagnant 

It is recommended not to hold back the need to urinate or defecate, 
especially if it hurts. 

It is recommended to urinate before prayers, before going to bed, 
before having sexual intercourse, and after ejaculating. 

After urination, one must first wash the anus if it has been soiled by 
urine; then one must press three times with the middle finger of his 
left hand on the part between the anus and the base of the penis; 
then one must put his thumb on top of the penis and his index finger 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

on the bottom and pull the skin forward three times as far as the 
circumcision ring; and after that three times squeeze the tip of the 

A woman has no special instructions to follow after urinating; if she 
afterward notes some moisture at the vaginal orifice which she 
cannot judge as pure or impure, the said moisture remains pure and 
in no way stands in the way of her performing ablutions or praying. 


n .10 

On eating and Drinking 

There are eighteen principles to be observed at mealtime; washing 
one's hands before the meal; washing and drying one's hands after 
the meal; the head of the house beginning eating before any of his 
guests and finishing after them; he must wash his hands before the 
meal ahead of the others, and be followed by the person who sits at 
his right, and then the next, and so on, until reaching the one seated 
at his left; beginning the meal by invoking the name of Allah; but if 
several courses are served, it is recommended that this be repeated 
before each course; taking with one's right hand; eating with three 
fingers, leaving the other two free; taking small guantities of food in 
each mouthful; stretching the meal out as long as possible; chewing 
one's food at length; praising Allah at the end of the meal; licking 
one's fingers; cleaning one's teeth after the meal with a toothpick, 
which must not be made of pomegranate wood, basil wood, reed, or 
palm leaves; gathering up the remains of the meal in order to eat 
them later, but if the meal is eaten in the desert it is better to leave 
such remains for the birds and animals; eating at the beginning of 
the day and at nightfall, and abstaining therefrom during the day 
and during the night; resting on one's back after eating, and putting 
the right leg over the left; taking salt at the beginning and the end of 
the meal; washing all fruit before it. 

There are eleven things to be avoided during meals; eating when one 
is not hungry; eating too much, which is frowned upon by the 
Almighty; watching others while eating; eating things that are too 
hot; blowing on a dish or into a glass to cool the food or drink; 
starting to eat as soon as the the bread has been put on the table; 
cutting bread with a knife; putting bread under one's plate; cleaning 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

a meat bone so there is nothing left on it; peeling fruit; throwing 
away half- eaten fruit. 

There are six principles to be observed while drinking water: sucking 
it up rather than gulping it down; drinking upright invoking the 
name of Allah before and after drinking; drinking in three steps; 
drinking of one's own free will; recalling the martyrdom of Hazrat 
Abu Abdullah and his family, and cursing their murderers, after 

There are five things to be avoided during the absorption of water: 
drinking to excess; drinking after a heavy meal; drinking standing up 
during the night; taking the water jug in one's left hand; drinking 
from a place where the jug is chipped or broken or at the location of 
the handle. 

Among the organs of fowl, game, domestic animals, fish, and so on 
whose flesh of you are permitted to eat, there are fifteen which are 
proscribed: blood; excrement; the penis; the vagina; the uterus; the 
glands; the testicles; the central part of the brain; the little chickpea- 
shaped ball at the back side of the brain; the nerves located on either 
side of the spinal column; the gallbladder; the liver; the bladder; the 
eye; matter accumulated under the claws. 

It is forbidden to consume the excrement of animals or their nasal 
secretions. But if such are mixed in minute proportions into other 
foods their consumption is not forbidden. 

The meat of horses, mules, or donkeys is not recommended. It is 
strictly forbidden if the animal was sodomized while alive by a man. 
In that case, the animal must be taken outside the city and sold. 

If one commits an act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their 
urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may 
no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as guickly as 
possible and burned, and the price of it paid to its owner by him who 
sodomized it. 

Drinking wine or alcoholic beverages is a mortal sin, and is strictly 
forbidden. Whoever consumes an alcoholic beverage retains only a 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

part of his soul, that part of it which is deformed and nasty; he is 
damned by Allah, His archangels, His prophets, and His believers. 
Such a man's daily prayers are rejected by Allah for forty days. On 
the day of the resurrection of the dead, his face will turn black, his 
tongue will hang out of his mouth, his saliva will run down his chest, 
and he will remain forever thirsty. 


n ii 

On Pure and Impure Icings 

There are eleven things which are impure: urine, excrement, sperm, 
bones, blood, dogs, pigs, non- Muslim men and women, wine, beer, 
and the sweat of the excrement- eating camel. 

The urine and feces of man and any animal whose blood spurts when 
a vein or artery of its body is opened are impure. But flyspecks or the 
droppings of mosquitoes or other such small insects whose blood 
does not gush are pure. 

The urine and feces of any excrement- eating animal are impure. This 
is equally true of the urine and feces of any animal which has been 
sexually possessed by a human; and of the urine and feces of sheep 
which have been fed on sow's milk 

The sperm of any animal whose blood spurts when its throat is cut is 

The bones of an animal found dead or an animal slaughtered 
otherwise than according to Muslim rites are impure; fish, on the 
other hand, is never impure, even if found dead in the water, for its 
blood does not spurt. 

The hairs, bones, and teeth of dead animals are pure, unless they 
come from animals such as the dog which are impure themselves. 

The egg taken from the entrails of a chicken is not impure, provided 
its shell is sufficiently hard. However, it must be washed before 
being eaten. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

The meat, fat, and skins on sale in a Muslim bazaar on being handled 
by a Muslim are pure, unless such products come from animals 
which were not slaughtered according to the Muslim rites. 

The blood of man and any animal whose blood spurts when the 
throat is cut is impure; on the other hand, the blood of the fish, 
mosguito, or any other animal whose blood does not spurt remains 

The blood that may flow out between one's teeth is pure if diluted 
with saliva; it is permitted to swallow that saliva. 

Blood coagulated and accumulated under the nails or in any other 
part of the human body is pure if its appearance has been so 
modified that one can no longer call it blood; if that is not the case, 
every effort must be made to rid oneself of it before performing one's 

The pus of a healing wound is pure, provided one can be sure it is 
not mixed with blood. 

Dog and pig, unless they live in water, are impure, as are their hairs, 
their bones, their claws, and their excrements; on the other hand, 
sea dogs and pigs are pure. 

Every part of the body of a non- Muslim individual is impure, even 
the hair on his hand and his body hair, his nails, and all the 
secretions of the body. 

Any man or woman who denies the existence of Allah, or believes in 
His partners [the Christian Trinity], or else does not believe in His 
Prophet Muhammad, is impure (in the same way as are excrement, 
urine, dog, and wine). He is so even if he doubts any one of these 

A child who has not reached puberty is impure if his parents and 
grandparents are not Muslims, but if he has one Muslim in his 
ancestry he is pure. 

A Muslim who insults one of the Twelve Imams or declares himself 
their enemy is impure. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

Wine and all other intoxicating beverages are impure, but opium and 
hashish are not. 

Beer is impure, but brewer's yeast is not. 

The sweat of an excrement- eating animal is impure; the sweat of 
other animals, which do not eat the same detritus, is not. 

The sweat of a man who has just ejaculated is not impure; yet it is 
preferable for him not to pray so long as his body or his clothing 
retain traces of that sweat. 

If a man has had sexual relations with his wife during periods of 
prescribed abstinence, such as the fast of Ramadan, he must avoid 
saying his prayers so long as he still has upon him the traces of post- 
coital sweat. 

If a part of the body that is sweating comes into contact with 
something impure and the sweat runs onto other parts of the body, 
all such parts become impure, although the rest of the body remains 

Bloodstained nasal secretions or expectorations are impure, whereas 
those which have not been soiled by blood are pure; if the nasal 
secretions or the expectoration touch the nose or mouth even lightly 
the part of the skin which has been so touch must be purified; but 
the untouched part remains pure. 

An object which enters a human body and comes into contact with 
something impure (stool or blood) remains pure when withdrawn 
from that body if it has no traces of the impure matter left upon it; 
thus, the instrument introduced into the rectum for an enema or the 
surgeon's scalpel are not impure if they bear no trace of these 
impurities. The same applies to saliva or nasal secretions which mix 
with blood inside the mouth or nose, but show no trace of it when 
they are expectorated. 

It is forbidden to touch a page of the Qur'an with anything impure; if 
such a thing should happen, the page must immediately be washed. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

It is forbidden to place upon the Qur'an such impure matter as blood 
or human or animal bones if the matter is dried; should the matter 
already have been placed on it, it must absolutely be removed. 

It is forbidden to write out verses of the Qur'an with impure ink, 
even though one write but one letter thereof. In case it has already 
been done, it must be washed away or erased with a knife or some 
other sharp instrument. 

One must avoid giving the Qur'an to an infidel; it is even 
recommended that it be forcibly taken away from him if he already 
has it in his hands. 

If a page of the Qur'an, or a piece of paper with the name of Allah or 
the Prophet or one of the Imams on it should fall into a toilet, it is 
absolutely indispensable to withdraw it from there, even if this 
should prove costly. In case this is impossible, such a toilet must 
never be used until it has been ascertained that the paper has rotted 

It is forbidden to eat or drink anything that is impure; it is also 
forbidden to give anything impure to children to eat, whether or not 
it ay be harmful to them; but it is not forbidden to feed children food 
which has been only indirectly touched by something impure. 

It is not reguired that one point out to a person that he is eating 
impure food or that he is praying while wearing impure clothing. 

If the head of a household notices during the course of a meal that 
one or more of the dishes being served are impure, he must impart 
this information to his guests; but if it is one of the guest who notices 
it, he is not obliged to do the same. 


n .12 


There are eleven elements or procedures which are purifying, that is, 
which erase impurities and make bodies and objects pure again: 
water; earth; sun; transmutation; reduction of grape juice by two- 
thirds' transfer; Islam; dependence; elimination of the impure 
object; keeping an animal from doing so for a specific period of time; 
absence of the Muslim. 

Here are explanations of each element: 

Water is purifying if it fulfills the following four conditions; it is pure 
(thus are watermelon juice and rose water not purifying); it is clean; 
after having been used to wash something impure, it has not been 
taken on the odor, color, or taste of that impure thing; after such 
washing, the remains of excrement or other detritus have left no 
traces in it. 

An impure dish or container must be washed three times to regain 
its purity; but a container which has been licked by a dog or been 
used to give a dog his food or drink in, before being twice washed in 
water, must be rubbed first with earth. If a pig has used it, the dish 
must be washed seven times in succession but it need not be rubbed 
with earth. A container or glass which has held wine, and therefore is 
impure, must be washed three times, but it is better to wash it seven 
times. An oven which has become impure for having been urinate in 
regains its purity after twice being filled with water enough to cover 
all its sides. But if it has become impure from the contact of some 
other matter, such as excrement, it is enough to fill it with water 
once, after having removed the impure matter. If a thing becomes 
impure through having been soiled by the urine of a milk- fed boy 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

(less than two years old), who has not drunk sow's milk, it is enough 
to wash it all over one time to purify it. Yet it is wise to wash it again 
a second time. 

If the surface of a grain of wheat or rice or a piece of soap is soiled by 
some impurity, it is enough to plunge it into the amount of water 
required for purification in order for it to be pure again, but if the 
impurity has penetrated beneath its surface, this measure is not 
enough. If one cannot be absolutely sure that the impurity has 
penetrated deeply into the soap, the latter remains pure. Any impure 
object becomes pure only when the impure matter has been 
completely eliminated from it, but if the odor or color of the impure 
matter remains that makes no difference. The bits of impure food 
that remains between one's teeth after eating the food become pure 
if one washes his mouth with water so that all the impure remains 
are washed away. 

If lump sugar has been made from impure melted sugar, the lump 
sugar remains impure even if placed in stagnant or running water. 

Earth purifies the sole of the foot or shoe soiled with impurity, if it 
fulfills the following three conditions: it is pure; it is dry; and there is 
enough of it to eliminate the impure element (blood, urine, 
excrement, and such) from the sole of the foot or shoe. The earth 
may be muddy, firm, sandy, or pebbly; it is not enough to walk on a 
rug, or carpet, or grass, to purify the foot or shoe, as it is also not 
enough to walk on asphalt or flooring. 

To purify the sole of the foot or shoe soiled by an impurity, one must 
take at least fifteen steps, even if the impurity disappears before 
fifteen steps. 

For those who walk on their hands or knees, taking fifteen steps is 
not enough to purify their palms or their knees soiled by an 
impurity. The same applies to canes, crutches, horseshoes, wagon 
wheels, and so on. If after taking the fifteen steps, small bits of 
excrement or other detritus remain, they must be carefully removed, 
but the persistence of their odor or color makes no difference. The 
inside of the shoe, or the part of the sole of the foot which does not 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

touch the ground, will not be purified by walking, and this also 
applies to socks, unless the part of the sock covering the sole of the 
foot is made of leather or hide. 

Sun has purifying action on impure elements such as the ground, a 
building, doors, windows, nails stuck into walls, if the following six 
conditions are fulfilled: that the impure object be moist (if it is dry, it 
must be moistened so the sun may dry it); that the impurity is 
removed before the object is exposed to the rays of the sun; that 
these rays are not filtered through a curtain or through clouds, for 
example, unless it be an extremely thin cloud; that the impure object 
is dried exclusively by the rays of the sun, and not by the combined 
effort of sun and wind; that the sun dries all f the impure part of a 
building at one time (the facade may not be purified first, and the 
other walls only later); and, finally, that there is no intermediate 
element, such as air, within the thickness of the wall. If the sun has 
dried out impure ground, but later there is reason to question 
whether at the time it was moist or dry, or whether its moisture 
disappeared exclusively through the action of the rays of the sun or 
because of other factors, that ground remains impure; the same 
applies to ground or a building about which one cannot be sure that 
the impurities were removed from it before it was exposed to the 
sun, or whether the rays of the sun were able to play upon it directly. 
If only one of the walls was exposed to the sun, the other remains 
impure, unless the wall is so thin that drying one also dries the other. 

Transmutation is a reaction by virtue of which an impure element is 
so completely transformed that it becomes something pure. This is 
the case of impure wood which in burning becomes transformed into 
pure ash, or of a dog which after being buried in saline ground turns 
into salt; but it does not apply to impure wheat which is made into 
flour or bread. Wine which turns to vinegar, whether on its own or 
due to the addition of salt or vinegar, is pure, but vinegar resulting 
from wine made of grapes soiled by urine or excrement, or from 
wine which has been mixed with such impurities, remains impure. 
Vinegar made with impure grapes, raisins, or dates remains impure. 
There is no objection to straw or small bits of the raisins being 
transformed into vinegar; nor is there any objection to (^airnbers or 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

eggplants being added to the dates, raisins, or grapes before they are 
made into vinegar. 

Reduction of grape juice by two- thirds is purifying. Boiled grape 
juice is not impure even before having been reduced by two- thirds, 
but its consumption is forbidden if it is proven that it is intoxicating, 
in which case the juice can be purified only when it is turned into 
vinegar. The juice of an unripe bunch of grapes, even if the bunch 
has one or two ripe grapes on it, may be consumed, on condition that 
it first be boiled and that the sweet taste of the grape has 

Transfer is the operation by which the blood of a human being or any 
other animal the blood of which spurts when its throat is cut 
becomes pure by being transferred into the body of an insect the 
blood of which does not gush and becoming absorbed into the blood 
of the latter. On the other hand, human blood sucked by a leech 
remains impure even after its transfer into the body of the leech 
because it does not become absorbed into the blood of the leech. 

If a person crushes a mosquito on his skin and cannot determine 
whether the blood therefrom is the insect's or his own, this blood is 
pure; but if the time between the bite and the death of the mosquito 
is so short that no such distinction can be made, the blood is impure. 

Islam. A non- Muslim man or woman who becomes a convert to 
Islam automatically has a pure body, and pure saliva, nasal 
secretions, and perspiration. As for cohort's clothing, if it has been in 
contact with their sweating bodies before they became converted, it 
remains impure. 

Dependence means the purification of one impure object being 
subject to the purification of another impure object. In the case of 
wine being turned into vinegar, the container having held the wine 
becomes pure once more up to the level reached by the wine turned 
vinegar. Thus, the piece of wood or stone on which mortuary 
ablutions are made, the fabric covering the genitals of the deceased, 
the hand of the person who has performed these ablutions, and the 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

soap with which the corpse was washed, all become pure upon 
completion of the ritual. 

The body of an animal or insect which was directly in contact with 
some impurity such as blood, or indirectly with impure water, 
becomes impure again as soon as the impure element is eliminated. 
The same holds true for the inside of a human mouth or nose. This 
means that if some blood runs out between one's teeth and dissolves 
in saliva, it is not necessary to wash one's mouth; if artificial teeth 
have been soiled by some impure matter, they must be taken out and 
washed. If bits of food remain between one's teeth and the inside of 
one's mouth bleeds, these bits of food are pure so long as one cannot 
be certain that the blood has touched them. 

Keeping an animal which normally eats the excrement from doing so 
for a specific period of time. The urine and feces of such an animal 
are impure; in order for them to become pure, such animals must be 
kept from eating human excrement for forty days for a camel, twenty 
days for cattle, ten days for sheep, seven or five days for a turkey, 
and three days for a chicken. 

Absence of the Muslim. If the clothing, kitchen utensils, or rugs 
belonging to a Muslim have been soiled by impure matter, and their 
owner is absent, they may not automatically be considered to be 
impure so long as one is not sure that they were not washed and 
purified before he left, or that they did not happen to fall into 
running water which purified them. 

If one is certain that an object soiled by some impure matter has 
been purified, or if two trustworthy witnesses confirm that it has, the 
object becomes pure once again. This is also true of an impure object 
about which its owner asserts that it has been purified or that a 
Muslim has washed it, even if it cannot be established that he did so 
according to ritual. 

One must not eat or drink out of any container made of pigskin or 
dog's hide, or any container made from the bone of any animal. 

The remains of the food of dogs, pigs, and non- Muslim men and 
women are impure; the remains of the food of animals the flesh of 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

which may be eaten are not impure, but it is nevertheless better to 
abstain therefrom. 


n n 

On the Nature of water 

There are two kinds of water; pure water, and water that is "in 
solution," such as, for instance, watermelon juice or attar of roses, or 
muddy water. Pure water is divided into five categories; stagnant 
water large enough in sufficient quantity; running water; rainwater; 
and well water. 

Kor, or purifying water, is the quantity of water held in a container 
the length, width and depth of which each are 3V2 vadjabs [about 70 
centimeters or 27 inches] . This quantity of water should weigh about 
128 maunds less 20 miskals [about 390 kilograms or 858 pounds]. 

If the above-mentioned water changes in taste, odor, or color 
because of impure contacts, such as with blood or urine, it becomes 
impure; but if it indirectly changes in odor, color, or taste because of 
some impure matter, for example if its odor is changed because of 
the proximity of some decomposing matter, it remains pure. 

Water which has been polluted by blood, urine, or other impurities, 
and has thereby been changed in odor, color, or taste, is purified by 
running water or by rainwater which falls directly into it, or 
rainwater driven into it by the wind, or carried to it by a drainpipe, 
and thereby regains its purifying properties. 

That a quantity of water is enough to be purifying may be established 
in one of two ways: either through one's own personal conviction 
that it is, or by two trustworthy men affirming that it is. 

The water used for washing the urinary orifice and the anus remains 
pure in the five cases: if it has neither the odor, the color, nor the 
taste of urine or feces; if no external impurity has touched it; if no 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

other impure matter such as blood issued from the anus or the 
urinary orifice at the same time as the excrement or urine; if no 
particles of excrement or urine are visible in the water; if the 
excrement that touched the anus as not exceptionally abundant. 

Running water, even though in lesser quantity than that of purifying 
water, remains pure and therefore drinkable if it contains excrement 
or urine, provided however that the admixture of these has not 
altered its odor, color, or taste. 

If excrement, urine, or other impurities have polluted running water, 
only that part of it which has been changed in odor, color, or taste 
becomes impure; the rest remains pure. 

If excrement, urine, or any other impurity should be on the roof of a 
house and be rained upon, the rainwater remains pure if it continues 
falling and running directly off the roof or down a gutter or 
drainpipe; but if the rain stops, the water that continues running off 
and which is known to have touched the impurities on the roof is 


n i4 

On Ablution 

[ Body Purification ] 

There are two kinds of ablutions; the kind known as "step by step," 
which consists of washing the different parts of the body one after 
the other, and the kind known as "total," in which the whole body is 
immersed in water. 

In step- by- step ablutions, one must begin by proclaiming in both 
loud and a low voice that one is planning to perform his ablutions; 
after that, one should wash one's head and the back of the neck, then 
the right side of the body, followed by the left side. If this precise 
order is not followed, whether deliberately or out of ignorance, the 
ablutions are not valid. It is to be pointed out that the right side of 
the navel and the right side of the genitals must be washed with the 
right side of the body, and the left side of the navel and genitals with 
the left side of the body. However, it is more prudent to was navel 
and genitals in their entirety along with each side of the body. If once 
the ablution is completed, one suspects that some part of the body 
has been overlooked, the ritual must be repeated; in that case, if the 
overlooked part is on the left side of the body, it is enough to wash 
only that part, but if it is on the right side of the body, after washing 
that part, the whole left side of the body must be washed again. 

In a total ablution, one must immerse the entire body in water, after 
having proclaimed in both a loud and a low voice that this is one's 
intention. If one notices, after the ablution, that some part of the 
body remained outside the water, even though one may not know 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

exactly which part of the body it was, the entire ritual must be 

It is necessary that during ablution not one part of the body remain 
unwashed; however, it is not required that one wash those parts 
which are not visible, such as the inside of the ears or nose. In the 
case of ears that are pierced, the holes in them must be washed if 
they are large enough so the insides of them can be seen; otherwise, 
this is not necessary. 

During ablution, one must wash the shortest hairs on the body, but it 
is recommended that even the longest be washed. If one washes his 
anus in the water of a public bath, one must first obtain the 
permission of the owner of this bath for the ablution to be valid. If 
during ablution, one breaks wind or urinates, the ritual remains 
valid. If one performs his ablutions after having ejaculated and one 
has a verse of the Qur'an or the name of Allah written or tattooed on 
his body, one's hand must not touch that part of the body during the 
ablution, but that part must be washed without being touched. 

Sperm is always impure, whether it results from actual coitus or 
from an emission while one is either conscious or asleep, whether it 
is abundant or not, whether or not it results from sexual pleasure, 
whether emission is intentional or not. 

It is recommended that one urinate after ejaculation; if one does not, 
the discharge that might follow one's ablution would have to be 
considered to be sperm, even though it seems doubtful. 

During sexual intercourse, if the penis enters a woman's vagina or a 
man's anus, fully or only as far as the circumcision ring, both 
partners become impure, even if they have not reached puberty; they 
must consequently perform their ablutions. 

If the man thinks that he has not entered the woman's vagina 
beyond the circumcision ring, ablution is not required. 

If a man - Allah protect him from it! - fornicates with an animal and 
ejaculates, ablution is necessary. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

If a sperm moves inside the penis but does not come out, or if there 
is doubt about whether it actually was emitted, ablution is not 

A man who has ejaculated and has not yet performed his ablutions 
must avoid the following ten acts: eating; drinking; reading more 
than seven verses of the Qur'an; touching the binding of the Qur'an, 
or the margins of its pages, or the spaces between the lines; carrying 
the Qur'an on his person; sleeping; dyeing his beard with henna; 
anointing himself with grease or oil; having sexual intercourse after 
having ejaculated in his sleep. 

If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife during the periods of 
prescribed abstinence, such as the month's fast of Ramadan, his 
sweat is impure, and he may not say his daily prayers while in such a 

If a man becomes aroused by a woman other than his wife but then 
has intercourse with his own wife, it is preferable for him not to pray 
if he has sweated; but if he first has intercourse with his spouse and 
then with another woman, he may say his prayers even though he be 
in a sweat. 

A man who has ejaculated as a result of intercourse with a woman 
other than his wife, and who then ejaculates again while having 
coitus with his legal wife, does not have the right to say his prayers 
while still sweating; but if he had intercourse with his wife first and 
then with a woman not his wife, he may say his prayers even though 
still sweating. 

If a fly or any other insect settled first on something impure that is 
moist and then on something pure that is moist, the latter in turn 
becomes impure, provided one can be certain that the former was 
impure; failing that, it remains pure. 

Besides the ablutions that are necessary and unavoidable there are a 
number of ablutions that are highly recommended in order to please 
Allah. A few of them are: 

■ Ablution performed Friday between dawn and noon. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

■ Ablution performed on the eve of the first day of Ramadan and 
the eves of all the odd days of that month, (third, fifth, seventh, 
and so on). The ablutions on the eves of the first, fifteenth, 
seventeenth, nineteenth, twenty- first, twenty- third, twenty- fifth, 
twenty- seventh, and twenty- ninth days of Ramadan are 
especially recommended. On the eve of the twenty- third day, one 
would be well advised to perform two ablutions, one at the 
beginning and the other at the end of the night. 

■ Ablution performed by a woman who has used perfume for a 
man other than her husband. 

■ Ablution of the man who has fallen asleep while in a drunken 

■ Ablution of a man or woman who, during a total eclipse of the 
sun or the moon, have not said their prayers. 

■ Ablution of one who has witnessed the hanging of a person 
condemned to death. If he did not witness it of his own free will, 
ablution is not necessarily required. 


n 15 

On the five Namaz 

[ Daily Ritual Prayers ] 

The person who says his five daily prayers must do so in a state of 
prefect concentration and complete meditation. He must abstain 
from committing sins such as those of jealousy, pride, or 
scandalmongering, or eating forbidden foods, drinking alcoholic 
beverages, or refusing to pay his tithes to the clergy. It is also 
preferable that he abstain from committing such venial sins as 
saying his daily prayers while half asleep or holding back his need to 
urinate, nor should he look up at the sky while praying. On the other 
hand, he would do well before praying to make sure that he has agate 
rings on his fingers, that he is properly dressed and well combed, 
that his teeth are brushed, and that he is perfumed. 

While he is performing his five daily prayers, a man must make sure 
that, even if they cannot be seem, his genitals and his rear are 
covered. It is better if he covers the whole part of his body from the 
navel to the knees. 

A woman, while saying her five daily prayers, must cover her entire 
body, including her head and her hair; however, it is permissible for 
her to leave uncovered a part of her face and hands and her feet up 
to the ankles. 

If a man should discover, while saying his prayer, that his member is 
not covered, he must cover it immediately, and if that takes too 
much time, he must stop his prayer and start over from the 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

beginning. But if he discovers that his member is not covered only 
after completing his prayer, the prayer remains valid. 

During daily prayer, it is permissible to cover one's body and genitals 
with grass or the leaves of trees, but it is better to do this only when 
there are no other means at hand. 

During joint prayer, the woman must position herself behind the 
man. If the woman and the man enter the place of worship at the 
same time and the woman happens to find herself in front of the 
man, she must say her prayer again after placing herself where she 
belong, i.e., behind the main. 

It is highly recommended to avoid eating at the same table as one 
who does not attend the mosque; one must also avoid asking the 
advice of such a one, living near him, marrying a woman of his 
family, or giving him one's daughter in marriage. 

It is forbidden to say one's daily prayers in the following places: a 
bath; saline ground; facing someone else; facing an open door; on a 
highway, avenue, or street; before a fireplace or lamp; in the kitchen 
and any other place where there is an oven; in front of a well or 
cesspool; facing a portrait or statue of a living model, unless these 
are covered; in the presence of someone who has ejaculated and has 
not yet performed his ablutions; in a room in which there is a 
photograph, even if it is not located facing the person praying; facing 
a grave, or on a grave, or between two graves in a cemetery. 

It is not advisable to allow a feebleminded person, a child, or 
someone who has just eaten garlic into the mosque. 

One who falls asleep while saying his prayer must say it over again if 
he realizes he dozed during the prayer; if he is not sure of having 
done so, the prayer remains valid. 

Coughing, belching loudly, or sighing does not invalidate a prayer. 
On the other hand, the prayer is voided if one emits interjections of 
two letters or more. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

If a person who is praying turns red in the face from suppressing an 
impulse to burst out laughing, that person must start the prayer over 

If a person sobs aloud while praying because of some earthly sorrow, 
the prayer is invalid; but if he weeps to himself, the prayer is valid. 
However, if it is not over an earthly sorrow but because of the fear of 
Allah or the hereafter, he is urgently encouraged to weep. 

Clapping one's hands or jumping up in the air during a prayer makes 
it null and void. 

If, during prayer, one swallows bits of food left over between one's 
teeth, the prayer is not invalidated; but if one has a piece of sugar in 
his mouth and the sugar slowly melts during the prayer, the value of 
the latter is debatable. 

During prayer, one must avoid bending one's head to the right or 
left, closing one's eyes, clasping one's hands, spitting, toying with 
one's beard, looking at the writings of the Qur'an or any other 
writings, or at the design of a ring. One must also avoid praying hen 
one feels sleepy, when one feels an urge to urinate or defecate, or 
when one is wearing socks that are too tight. 


n i6 

On Prayers in Case of 
Natural Phenomenon 

Namaze-ayat is the name given to the prayer to be said when one 
witnesses natural phenomena which inspire fear. This prayer is 
required in the four following cases: total or partial eclipse of the 
sun; total or partial eclipse of the moon; earthquake, even though it 
be not fearsome; thunder, lightning, and black or red winds. 

If several of these phenomena occur simultaneously, for instance if 
an eclipse should be accompanied by an earthquake, two prayers are 

In case of earthquake or liqhtninq or thunder, one must pray 
immediately. Failing to do so is a sin which is not pardoned until 
after this prayer is said, no matter how much later, even to the last 
day of a person's life. 

If a woman is having her period during a solar or lunar eclipse and 
until the eclipse is over, no prayer for this natural phenomenon is 
required. Nor is she obliged to say it at a later date. 


n i7 

On pasting 

Sexual intercourse is a breaking of the fast, even if the penis enters 
the vagina only as far as the circumcision ring, and even if no 
ejaculation results. 

If the penis enters less deeply into the vagina and there is no 
ejaculation, the fast has not been broken. 

If the man cannot determine with certainty what length of his penis 
entered into the vagina, and if he has gone in beyond the 
circumcision ring, his fast has not been broken. 

If a man has intercourse because he has forgotten that he is in a 
fasting period, or if someone forces him to have intercourse, his fast 
has not been broken. But if he remembers the fast while the sex act is 
taking place, or if he is no longer forcibly constrained to complete 
the coitus, he must interrupt it immediately. 

If a man during a fasting period masturbates and brings himself to 
ejaculation, his fast has been broken. 

If a man ejaculates involuntarily, his fast remains valid, but if he 
himself does anything whatsoever to help along his involuntary 
ejaculation, the fast is considered to be null and void. 

Taking an enema, even for medically therapeutic reasons, breaks the 
fast; but the use of suppositories is not forbidden; however, it is 
preferable to abstain from using opium suppositories. 

The fast of one who, in thought, or word, or deed, bears false witness 
against Allah, or His Prophet or his successors, is immediately 
invalidated, even though he may confess on the spot to having lied 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

and proclaim his repentance. In all likelihood, Saint Fatima 
[daughter of Muhammad and wife of Ali], as well as the other 
prophets and their successors, are also included among those against 
whom one may not blaspheme. 

If, during the fast, one attributes in all good faith some statement to 
Allah or to His Prophet, and one afterward learns that his as in error, 
the fast remains valid. If one intentionally attributes some false 
quotation to Allah or to His Prophet or his successors, the fast loses 
its value' but if one is only repeating such a quotation heard from a 
third party, the fast remains valid. 

The fast is invalidated if one plunges his entire head under water, 
but if one immerses only the right side and then the left side, the 
value of the fast remains intact. One's head must not be immersed in 
rose water; however, it may be immersed in other waters in solution, 
or in other liquids. 

If, in order to rescue a person from drowning, one's head becomes 
immersed during a period of fasting, one's fast is invalidated, even if 
there was no other way of saving the drowning person's life. 

If one has ejaculated and abstains from performing the prescribed 
ablutions during the vigil of the month of Ramadan, the fast loses its 

If a person believes he ill have sufficient time, before a Ramadan 
vigil, to complete his ablutions after ejaculation, but discovers 
afterward that he does not have time enough, he may postpone his 
ablutions in order to begin the fast. 

If a fly enters the month of a person during a period of fasting, he is 
not forced to take it out, if it has not gone too far into the throat; if it 
has remained in the mouth, he must take it out even if that causes 
vomiting which invalidates the fast. 

If by inadvertence one eats something during the fast, and then one 
realizes it, one must not attempt to retrieve the part of it which has 
already been swallowed. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

The following practices are inadvisable during fasts; putting drops in 
one's eyes; having a blood transfusion or taking a bath; pinching 
snuff or smelling aromatic plants; taking sitz baths (applies to 
women only); taking suppositories; getting one's clothes wet; having 
teeth pulled or undergoing any other surgery which might cause 
blood to flow into the mouth brushing one's teeth with moist wood; 
becoming intimate with one's wife, even without the intention of 
coming to ejaculation, or deliberately arousing oneself (if ejaculation 
is deliberately brought about, the fast is invalidated) . 


n is 

On woman and Her Periods 

Woman is pseudo- menstrual hen blood is discharged from her 
vagina outside he time of her regular periods. The blood may be 
yellowish, cold, and fluid, and be discharged without any burning 
sensation; it may also be blackish or yellow, hot, thick, and cause a 
burning sensation as it passes. 

Pseudo- menses are of three kinds: weak, medium, and abundant. If 
the blood does not fully soak a piece of cotton introduced into the 
vagina, the pseudo- menses are weak; if it soaks the cotton without 
going through to the fabric placed over the vulva, the pseudo- menses 
are medium; if, on the other hand , the blood soaks through both 
cotton and fabric, these are abundant pseudo- menses. 

In the case of weak pseudo- menses, the woman must wash according 
to religious ritual before praying, change the cotton or ash it, and 
also wash her vulva if it has been soiled by the blood. 

The menstrual period proper is the period of those few days during 
the month when blood is discharged from women's vaginas. This 
blood is most often thick, hot, blackish red or bright red, and gushes 
forth with a burning sensation. 

Women of the lineage of the Prophet of Islam are menopausal at the 
age of sixty; others, once they are over fifty. 

Blood that is discharged from the vagina of a girl under the age of 
nine and a woman over the age of sixty can therefore not be 
considered menstrual blood. 

The pregnant woman and the nursing woman may have regular 
menstrual periods. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

It is indispensable that during the first three days of the menses, the 
blood not be stopped from flowing; therefore, if the flow ceases after 
two days to resume a day later, it is not menstrual blood. 

It is not indispensable that the blood flow out of the vagina for all of 
the three days; it is sufficient that there be some inside the vagina. 

If a woman sees blood flowing from her vagina for more than three 
days and less than ten days, and is not sure whether this is 
menstrual blood or blood from an abscess, she must attempt to 
introduce a piece of cotton into her vagina and then withdraw it. If 
the blood runs out on the left side, it is menstrual blood; if on the 
right side, it is from the abscess. 

If a woman sees blood flowing from her vagina and wonders whether 
it is menstrual blood or the blood of her hymen, she must introduce 
a piece of cotton into her vagina and leave it there for a while before 
withdrawing it. If the blood has spotted only the edges of the cotton, 
it is the blood of the hymen; if the whole piece of cotton is soaked 
with blood, it is menstrual. 

If a woman sees blood flow from her vagina for less than three days, 
then stop and resume for a period of three days, then stop and 
resume for a period of three days, then stop and resume for a period 
of three days, it is this second flow which must be considered to be 
that of the menses, even if the first one coincided more exactly with 
her menstrual cycle. 

During the time a woman is menstruating, it is preferable for a man 
to avoid coitus, even if it does not involve full penetration - that is, 
as far as the circumcision ring - and even if it does not involve 
ejaculation. It is also highly inadvisable for him to sodomize her 
during this time. 

If the number of days of the woman's menstrual period is divided by 
three, a husband who has intercourse with her during the first two 
days must pay the eguivalent of 18 nokhods [about 3 grams or 0.1 
ounces] of gold to the poor; if he has it on the third or fourth days, 
the eguivalent of 9 nokhods; and if he has it during the last two days, 
the eguivalent of 4.5 nokhods. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

Sodomizing a menstruating woman does not require such payment. 

If a man has intercourse with his wife during all three of these 
periods, he must pay the equivalent in gold of 3.5 nokhods. If the 
price of gold has changed between the coitus and the time of 
payment, the rate in effect on the date of payment will prevail. 

If during an act of intercourse a man notices that the woman has 
begun menstruating, he must withdraw; if he fails to, he must give 
alms to the poor. 

If such a man cannot afford to give alms to the poor, he must at least 
give something to a beggar. If he cannot afford that either, he must 
ask forgiveness of Allah. 

After a wife's menstrual period, her husband may repudiate her, 
even if she has not yet made her ablutions. He may also indulge in 
relations with her, but it is preferable that he wait until she has made 
her ablutions. In the interim, the woman is not authorized to do 
anything which is forbidden to her during menstruation, such as 
going into a mosque or touching the writing of the Qur'an, until she 
has completed her ablutions. 


n i9 

On Marriage, adultery, and 
Conjugal Relations 

A woman may legally belong to a man in one of two ways; by 
continuing marriage or temporary marriage. In the former, the 
duration of the marriage need not be specified; in the latter, it must 
be stipulated, for example, that it is for a period of an hour, a day, a 
month, a year, or more. 

Marriage, whether continuing or temporary, must be sealed by a 
religious formula spoken either by the woman or by the man, or by 
one of their representatives. 

As long as the woman and man have not contracted a religious 
marriage, they are not entitled to look upon one another. To allow 
that, it is not enough to assume that the marriage formula has been 
spoken, but if the person representing them states that it has been 
spoken, then that is enough to validate the marriage. 

If a woman authorizes someone to marry her to a man for a period of 
ten days, for example, without specifying the exact date, the man 
may contract the marriage at his pleasure, but if the woman has 
specified a precise day and hour, the formula must be spoken at the 
specified time. 

The legal marriage formula must be read in Arabic, but if one cannot 
speak that language correctly, it may be spoken in a different 

A father or a paternal grandfather has the right to marry off a child 
who is insane or who has not reached puberty by acting as its 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

representative. The child may not annul such a marriage after 
reaching puberty or regaining his sanity, unless the marriage is to his 
manifest disadvantage. 

Any girl who is of age, that is, capable of understanding what is in 
her own best interest, if she wishes to get married and is a virgin, 
must procure authorization of her father or paternal grandfather. 
The permission of her mother or brother is not required. 

If a father or paternal grandfather marries off prepubescent son or 
grandson, the latter will be responsible once he has reached puberty, 
for taking care of his wife's material needs. 

A marriage is annulled if a man finds that his wife is afflicted with 
one of the seven following debilities: madness, leprosy, eczema, 
blindness, paralysis with aftereffects, malformation of the urinary 
and genital tracts or of the genital tract and rectum through 
conjoining thereof, or vaginal malformation making coitus 

If a wife finds out after marriage that her husband is suffering from 
mental illness, that he is a castrate, impotent, or has had his testicles 
excised, she may apply for annulment of her marriage. 

If a wife has her marriage annulled because her husband is unable to 
have sexual relations with her either vaginally or anally, he must pay 
her as damages one- half of the dowry specified in the marriage 
contract. If the husband or wife annuls the marriage for any of the 
above-mentioned reasons, the man owes nothing to the woman if 
they have had sexual relations together; if they have not, he must pay 
her the full amount of the dowry. 

It is forbidden to marry one's mother, sister, or stepmother. 

It is forbidden to marry one's mother-in-law, or one's wife's 
maternal or paternal grandmother or any of her great- 
grandmothers, even though one's marriage to her may never have 
been consummated. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

A man who marries a woman and has sexual relations with her may 
not marry her daughter or granddaughter, even if these be by a 
different marriage. 

A man may not marry his wife's daughter, even if their marriage has 
not been consummated. 

Aunts of the bride's father and the aunts of her grandparents need 
not wear the veil in the presence of the groom; the father, 
grandfather, and great-grandfather of the groom, as well as his sons, 
grandsons, and all his male descendants, may freely look upon the 

A man may not marry the nieces of his wife without the latter's 
consent; if he should nevertheless do so without getting consent, but 
his wife raises no objection, then there is no problem. 

A man who has committed adultery with his aunt must not marry 
her daughters, that is to say, his first cousins. 

If a man who has married his first cousin commits adultery with her 
mother, the marriage is not thereby annulled. 

If a man commits adultery with a woman other than his aunt, it is 
highly recommended that he not marry the daughter of that woman. 
If he marries a woman, consummates the marriage, and then 
commits adultery with her mother, the marriage is not thereby 
annulled. Nor is it automatically annulled in the case of his having 
committed such adultery before the marriage was consummated, but 
in that case it is better if the husband voluntarily annuls the 

A Muslim woman may not marry a non- Muslim man; nor may a 
Muslim man marry a non- Muslim woman in continuing marriage, 
but he may take a Jewish or Christian woman in temporary 

A man who marries an already married woman must break off his 
marriage with her and refrain from ever marrying her again. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

A married woman remains legally married after having committed 
adultery; however, should she not repent and should she continue to 
be unfaithful to her husband, it is preferable for the latter to 
repudiate her, but with full payment to her of her dowry. 

The mother, sister, or daughter of a man who has been sodomized by 
another man may not marry the latter, even if both men or one of 
them had not yet reached puberty at the time; but if one who was the 
victim of the act cannot prove it, his mother, sister, or daughter is 
allowed to marry the other man. 

If a man who has married a girl who has not reached puberty 
possesses her sexually before her ninth birthday, inflicting 
traumatisms upon her, he has no right to repeat such an act with 

If a man sodomizes the son, brother, or father of his wife after their 
marriage, the marriage remains valid. 

A woman who has contracted a continuing marriage does not have 
the right to go out of the house without her husband's permission; 
she must remain at his disposal for the fulfillment of any one of his 
desires, and may not refuse herself to him except for a religiously 
valid reason. If she is totally submissive to him, the husband must 
provide her with her food, clothing, and lodging, whether or not he 
has the means to do so. 

A woman who refuses herself to her husband is guilty, and may not 
demand from him food, clothing, lodging, or any later sexual 
relations; however, she retains the right to be paid damages if she is 

A husband is not obligated to pay any travel expenses incurred by his 
wife which exceed what her expenses would have been at home; but 
if travel was undertaken at his own suggestion, then he must take 
care of the expenses. 

A wife who scrupulously obeys her husband has the right to be paid 
the daily household expenses for any of the husband's assets, in the 
case the latter refuses voluntarily to pay for them. But if she is forced 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

to meet such expenses out of her on pocket, she is not obligated to 
obey her husband. 

A man who has contracted a continuing marriage may not leave his 
wife for so long a time as to allow her to question the validity if the 
marriage; however, he is not obligated to spend one night out of 
every four with her. 

A husband must have sexual relations with his wife at least once in 
every four months. 

If, at the time of contracting the marriage, no specific time was 
indicated at which the husband was to pay the dowry to his wife, the 
wife may refuse herself to her husband for so long as that amount of 
money has not been paid her. But once she has agreed to have sexual 
relations with her husband, she can no longer later refuse to, except 
for religiously valid reasons. 

A temporary marriage, even though only one of convenience, is 
nevertheless legal. 

A man must not abstain from having sexual relations with his 
temporary wife fr more than four months. 

If the temporary marriage contract includes a clause specifying that 
the husband is not entitled to have normal sexual relations with his 
wife, such a clause must be respected. He must then be satisfied with 
giving her pleasures in other ways. But as soon as the wife consents 
to it, he may perform the natural sex act with her. 

A woman ho has been temporarily married in exchange for a 
previously established dowry has no right to demand that her daily 
expenses be paid by her husband, even when she becomes pregnant. 

A temporarily married wife may not inherit from her husband; nor 
may he inherit from her. 

A temporarily married woman is entitled to go out of the house 
without asking her husband's permission, unless the fact of her so 
going out harms him in one way or another. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

If a father (or paternal grandfather) marries off his daughter (or 
granddaughter) in her absence without knowing for a certainty that 
she is alive, the marriage becomes null and void as soon as it is 
established that she was dead at the time of the marriage. 

It is forbidden for a man to look upon the body of a woman who is 
not his wife, under any pretext whatsoever. It is equally forbidden 
for a woman to look upon the body of a man who is not her husband. 

To look upon the face and hair of a girl who has not reached puberty, 
if it is done without intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one is not 
afraid of succumbing to temptation, may be tolerated. It is however 
recommended that one not look upon her belly or thighs, which 
must remain covered. 

To look upon the faces ad hands of J ewish or Christian women, if 
this is not done with intention of enjoyment thereof, and if one does 
not fear temptation, is tolerated. 

A woman must hide her body and her hair from the eyes of men. It is 
highly recommended that she also hide them from those of 
prepubescent boys, if she suspects that they may look upon her with 

It is forbidden to look upon the genitals of another person, even 
from behind a glass, or in a mirror, or in standing water. It is even 
expressly recommended to abstain from looking at the genitals of a 
child who knows the difference between good and evil. But it is 
permitted for husband and wife to look upon each other in all parts 
of their bodies. 

A man must not look upon the body of another man with lustful 
intent. Likewise, a woman may not look upon another woman with 
such intent. 

It is not forbidden for a man to photograph a woman other than his 
wife, but if in order to do so he must touch her, then he must not 
photograph her. 

If a woman is called upon to give an enema to a woman or to a man 
other than her husband, or to wash their genitals, then she must 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

cover her hand so as not to come into direct contact with the genital 
organs; the same precautions must be taken by a man where another 
man or a woman other than his wife are concerned. 

If a man is called upon, for medical reasons, to look upon a woman 
other than his wife and to touch her body, he is permitted to do so, 
but if he can give such care by only looking at the body he must not 
touch it, and if he can give it by only touching, he must not look at it. 

If a man or woman be forced, in order to administer medical care, to 
look upon the genitals of another person, he or she must do so 
indirectly, in a mirror, except in case of absolute necessity. 

If the husband has included in the marriage contract a clause 
guaranteeing his wife's virginity, he may annul the marriage if it 
turns out that she was not a virgin. 

If a woman abjures her faith before her marriage is consummated, 
the marriage is annulled; the like is true after conclusion of the 
marriage, if she is menopausal. But if she is not menopausal and 
returns to her Muslim beliefs within a hundred days after the 
breaking off of marriage, it again becomes valid. 

A man whose father or mother as a Muslim at the time of his 
conception, and who himself embraced the Muslim faith after 
reaching puberty, will have his marriage automatically abolished if 
he becomes an apostate. 

The marriage of a man born of non- Muslim parents but who himself 
became a convert to Islam is automatically annulled if he renounces 
his faith before consummating the marriage. If he renounces his 
faith after having sexual relations with his wife, she must wait one 
hundred days after the annulment of the marriage before marrying 
again, if she is of age to have menstrual periods. Thus, the marriage 
remains valid if during those one hundred days the husband returns 
to the Muslim fold; otherwise, the annulment is irreversible. 

If the woman inserts into the marriage contract a cause binding her 
husband not to mover her away from the city, and the husband 
accepts such a clause, then he must abide by it. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

The husband of a woman who has had a daughter by a previous 
marriage may marry that daughter to a son of his by a previous 
marriage. He himself has the right to marry the mother of a girl 
married to his son. 

A woman who becomes pregnant as a result of adultery must not 
have an abortion. 

If a man commits adultery with an unmarried woman, and 
subsequently marries her, the child born of that marriage will be a 
bastard unless the parents can be sure it was conceived after they 
were married. 

One need not believe a woman who claims to have entered 
menopause. On the one hand, she must be believed if she asserts 
that she is not married. 

It is highly recommended that a girl be married off as soon as she 
reaches the age of puberty. One of the blessings of man is to have his 
daughter experience her first period not in her father's house, but in 
that of her husband. 

A child born of an adulterous father is legitimate. 

It is a sin to have sexual relations with one's wife during the fast of 
Ramadan or while she is having her menses, but the child born of 
such relations is legitimate. 

If a man marries a woman and possesses her sexually, he may no 
longer marry any girl whom this woman has breast-fed. 

A man may not marry a wet nurse who has breast-fed his wife. 

A man may not marry a girl who was ever breast-fed by his mother 
or his grandmother. 

The best person to breast-feed a newborn baby is its own mother. It 
is preferable that she not ask to be paid for such services, but that 
her husband pay her for it of his own free will. If the sum the mother 
asks for is greater than that charged by a wet nurse, the husband is 
free to take the child from its mother and turn it over to the wet 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

It is recommended that the wet nurse be a faithful Shi'ite, intelligent, 
modest, and pretty. On the other hand, it is most inadvisable that 
she be feebleminded, a nonbeliever in the Twelve Imams, ugly, or a 
bastard, or of bad character. It is equally inadvisable to select as wet 
nurse a woman who has an illegitimate child. 

It is recommended that every child be breast-fed for two whole 


n 20 

On Divorce 

A man who repudiates his wife must be of sound mind and past the 
age of puberty. He must do so of his own free will and without any 
constraint; thereof, if the formula for divorce is spoken in jest the 
marriage is not annulled. 

The woman must not be having her period at the time of the divorce, 
and the husband must not have had sexual relations with her since 
her last period. 

In three cases, a man may repudiate his wife while she is having her 
period: if he has had no sexual relations with her since their 
marriage; if she is pregnant while the husband believes she is having 
her period, and it is learned only later that she was pregnant at the 
time of the repudiation; if he is not certain, because of the distance 
that separated them, whether his wife is them having her period. 

A man who has had sexual relations with his wife after her last 
menstrual period must wait for her to have her next one before he 
may divorce her. But he may divorce his wife if she has not yet 
reached her ninth birthday, or is pregnant, or is menopausal. 

If a husband who has had sexual relations with his wife between 
menstrual periods, divorces her during this time and learns later 
that she was pregnant when the divorce took place, the latter 
remains valid. 

A women temporarily married, say, for a month or a year, has her 
marriage automatically annulled at the end of that time, or at any 
other time when the husband releases her from the balance of her 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

engagement. It is not necessary for this that there be any witnesses, 
or that the woman have had her period. 

A woman who has not yet reached the age of nine or a menopausal 
woman may remarry immediately after divorce, without waiting the 
hundred days that are otherwise required. 

A woman who has had her ninth birthday or who has not yet entered 
menopause, must wait for three menstrual periods after her divorce 
before being allowed to remarry. 

If a woman who has not reached her ninth birthday or who has not 
entered menopause gets temporarily married, she must, at the end 
of the contract or when the husband has released her from part of it, 
wait two menstrual periods or forty- five days before marrying again. 

If a man commits adultery with a woman he knows is not his wife, 
while the woman is unaware that the man is not her husband, she 
must wait one hundred days before remarrying. 

If a man encourages a married woman to leave her husband so as to 
marry him, they are both committing a great sin, but the divorce and 
their marriage remain in force. 

If the father or paternal grandfather of a boy has him marry a 
woman for a temporary marriage, he may prematurely cancel it in 
the boys interest, even if the marriage was contracted before the boy 
reached the age of puberty. If, for example, a fourteen- year- old boy 
has been married off to a woman for a period of two years, they may 
return her freedom to the woman before this time has run its course; 
but a continuing marriage cannot be broken in this way. 

If a man repudiates his wife without informing her of it, and 
continues to meet her expenses for a period of, say, a year, and at the 
end of that time informs her that he got a divorce a year earlier and 
shows her proof of it, he may require that she return to him anything 
he has bought or given her during that time, provided that she has 
not used it up or consumed it, in which case he cannot demand its 


n 2i 

On the Mortuary Ritual 

If a part of the body becomes detached, whether after or before 
death, and one touches such a part when the cleansing of the corpse 
has not yet been completed, one must undergo a purifying ablution; 
but this is not necessary if the part of the body involved is boneless. 

If one touches a bone or a tooth removed from a corpse, ablution is 
necessary; but it is not required if the bone or tooth was removed 
from a live body, unless there is a muscle attached to it. 

One must avoid leaving a dying person alone, placing a heavy object 
on his belly, leaving him in the care of a man who has ejaculated or a 
woman who is having her period, speaking too much in his presence, 
weeping, or leaving him in the sole care of women. 

Ablution of a dead man by a woman, or visa versa, is forbidden. But 
the woman may perform this ritual if the man is her husband, and 
the man in the case of his own wife. However, it is preferable that 
they do not do it. 

It is forbidden to look upon the sexual organs of a dead man or 
woman. The person performing the ablution ritual commits a 
cardinal sin if he violates this ban, but the ablution does not thereby 
lose its validity. 

During the ritual, the genitals of the corpse must remain covered, 
even if only by a piece of wood or a brick. 

If a person dies in a well and it is impossible to get the body out, the 
well must be shut off and become his tomb. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

If a child dies within the mother's womb and it is a danger to her life 
to leave it there, it must be extracted in the easiest way possible; it 
can, if need be, be cut into pieces; this should be done either by the 
woman's husband or by a woman of this profession. 

One has no right to exhume the body of a Muslim, not even that of a 
child or of a madman, unless it has turned to dust. 

One may exhume a body if it is done in order to remove a still living 
child from its mother's womb, or if there is danger that a wild animal 
may devour it, or that a flood may carry it away, or that it may fall 
into the hands of the enemy. One may also reopen a sepulcher in 
order to deposit in it a part of the departed one's body which has 
been found or recovered after burial. 



On finance and Taxes 

All commercial transactions which involve any of the following are 
declared null and void: trade in urine, excrement, or alcoholic 
beverages; trade in misappropriated wealth, unless the owner 
thereof agrees to it; trade in anything other than merchandise; trade 
in musical instruments or gambling accessories; trade based upon 
interest produced by a sum of money; sale of any adulterated 
merchandise, unless the buyer is informed of the fact in advance. 

Trade in oil, curative solutions, and perfumes imported from non- 
Muslim countries is allowed, provided that their impurity has not 
been proven; on the other hand, fat is impure if it is produced in an 
Islamic country and comes form an animal which has not been 
established to have been slaughtered according to Muslim ritual. 
Trade in such products is illegal. 

There can be no trade in skins of foxes which died or were 
slaughtered in manners contrary to Muslim ritual. 

Trade in meat, fat, and skins is allowed, provided the seller is a 
Muslim; but it is forbidden if the buyer knows that this Muslim got 
them from an infidel, unless it is formally established that the 
animals were killed in accordance with the rules prevailing in Islam. 

Any trade in objects for enjoyment, such as musical instruments, 
however small they may be, is strictly illegal. 

A Muslim is allowed to reguire payment by an infidel of interest on 
money that he has lent him. This is also allowed between father and 
child, and between husband and wife. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

Persons who work oil deposits, or gold, silver, lead, copper, iron, 
turquoise, salt or other mines must pay the khoms [one- fifth tax on 
income] to the Islamic Treasury provided the income therefrom 
reaches the required minimum. This minimum must be the 
equivalent in value of coins comprising 415 grams of silver or 45 
grams of gold, after deduction of expenses. If the income does not 
reach such a figure, the khoms is still due if the gross income exceeds 
annual expenses. 

Anyone who discovers treasure the value of which is at least that of 
coins of 415 grams of silver or 45 grams of gold must also pay the 
khoms to the Islamic Treasury. 

If a person buys an animal and thereafter discovers in its belly some 
valuable object, he must first inquire of the seller whether that 
objects belongs to him. If it does not, he must check back with 
previous owners. If it turns out that the object belongs to none of 
them, he must pay the khoms, even if the price of the object is less 
than 415 grams of silver or 45 grams of gold. 

If someone dives into a river, such as the Tigris or Euphrates, and 
comes up with a jewel, he must pay the khoms on its value, provided 
that such rivers are known customarily to contain such jewels. 

If a person dives and comes up with a quantity of amber of value in 
excess of 4 grams of gold, he must pay the khoms on it, even if it was 
the result of more than a single dive. 

If a child discovers a mine or a treasure or finds a jewel under water, 
his father or guardian must pay the khoms on it. 

The income from the khoms collected throughout the country is to 
be divided between Seyed [descendants of the Prophet] and the Holy 
Imam, represented in our time by a Modjtahed [learned man]. The 
Seyed's share is to be meted out, with the Modjtahed's permission, 
to poor Seyed, orphaned Seyed, and ruined Seyed. The Imam's share 
may be spent only with the permission of his representative on 
earth, the Modjtahed. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

The zakat [obligatory alms - tax] for camels is to be computed on 
the basis of twelve brackets: 

1) one sheep for five camels; 

2) two sheep for ten camels; 

3) three sheep for fifteen camels; 

4) four sheep for twenty camels; 

5) five sheep for twenty- five camels; 

6) one second- year camel for twenty- six camels; 

7) one third- year camel for thirty- six camels; 

8) one fourth- year camel for forty- six camels; 

9) one fifth- year camel for sixty- one camels; 

10) two third- year camels for seventy- six camels; 

11) two fourth- year camels for ninety- nine camels; 

12) for 120 camels or more, one must figure one three- year- old 
camel for every forty camels, or one four- year- old camel for 
every fifty camels, or calculate by brackets for fifty and forty, 
being very careful not to overlook any, and, if there are any left 
over, that the remainder be no more than nine. For example, if 
one owns 140 camels, he must give two four- year- old camels, for 
the first hundred and one three- year- old camel for the 
remaining forty. All camels given in payment of the zakat must 
be females. 


n 23 


Shaving one's face, whether bladed razors or electric apparatuses 
intended for the same purpose, is highly unacceptable. 

Beating of drums during athletic contests is not allowed; nor is the 
playing of military music during military ceremonies, if such music 
can in any way be assimilated to licentious music. 

Gambling is forbidden, even if indulged in not for gain but merely as 
an amusement. 

No Muslim is permitted to work in a J ewish concern, if he knows, or 
has the slightest suspicion, that this concern gives support to Israel. 
Money thus earned is impure. 

It is not strictly forbidden for Muslims to work for a concern 
managed by a Muslim which also employs J ews, provided the worker 
does not serve Israel in any manner whatsoever. However, it is 
shameful to do one's work under the orders of a J ewish foreman. 

It is absolutely forbidden to dissect the corpse of a Muslim, but the 
dissection of non- Muslim corpses is acceptable. 

The flesh of any animal slaughtered by the methods in various 
countries, where recently available machines are employed, is 
impure, and it is forbidden to either sell or to buy it. In such a 
transaction, the seller owes the buyer the money he paid for it, even 
if the animal was slaughtered while facing in the direction of Mecca, 
and even if the name of Allah was invoked at the time. 


The Little Green Book — Ayatollah Khomeini 

Any meat imported from the countries of the infidels is strictly 
impure, and considered the same as the flesh of a corpse, unless it is 
proven that the cattle was slaughtered according to Muslim ritual. 

It is forbidden to look upon a woman other than one's wife, or an 
animal, or a statue, in a sensual or lubricious manner. 

A woman who wishes to pursue her studies toward the end of being 
able to earn her living though respectable work, and who has a male 
teacher, may do so if she keeps her face covered and has no contact 
with men; but if that is inevitable, and religious and moral tenets are 
thus undermined, she must give up her studies. 

Girls and boys who attend coeducational classes in grammar schools, 
high schools, universities, or other teaching establishments, and 
who, in order to legalize such a situation, wish to contract a 
temporary marriage may do so without the permission of their 
fathers. The same applies if the boy and girl are in love but hesitate 
to ask for such permission.